Fall into Fitness
Ahhh…fall; it’s my favorite color! There’s something magical about the changing colors, the crisp morning air, and the crunch of leaves under my feet that I find so beautifully refreshing. I feel motivated to make fun changes to my own workout routine as the seasons change. Autumn presents a beautiful time to “fall” in to a new fitness routine.
Not only is now the time to shake up an old routine, it is also time to enjoy the beauty of nature and the outdoors before old man winter comes to visit.
Connecting with Nature
One of the aspects I love the most about this time of year, aside from the natural beauty, is the opportunity to nurture a connection with my surroundings. Fall is peaceful – for most of us, we are back in a school/family routine and summer vacations are now memories. To me, this is the time to thank nature for a gorgeous, albeit busy, summer and to welcome the change of seasons by taking the time to simply be. An effective way to accomplish this is to explore the outdoors and breathe in the serenity of our natural world. As a parent, I’m also excited about teaching Miss O how to appreciate and respect nature as well as model and develop healthy family traditions in active ways.
These are a few of my favorite things…
Adventure Walks: Great for the tiny tots! This is both educational, exciting, and active. Map out a path and find a teachable topic. Perhaps you are helping your children learn to identify colors – nature’s fall season has the perfect palette!
Nature Hikes: We are fortunate to have wonderful walking paths in our community. The foothills and mountains offer beautiful nature trails as well. Pack a picnic and go for a hike. This is best done in the early fall when the weather is still cooperative. If you are a photographer – amateur or otherwise – you can capture some amazing footage while burning some calories.
Park Fitness: The Wellness Council of Sheridan County offered a great program called Park Fit a few years ago and it was a popular endeavor. Although there isn’t necessarily an organized community event that facilities this type of activity, it doesn’t mean you can’t be the catalyst. Organize a group of friends or even your family to take a run or bike through a park. Explore a new park each week. Other group fitness activities such as Zumba, Bodyweight Bootcamp, Yoga, etc. can all be performed in an open space. Be sure to check with your City association to see if any permitting or permission is required.
Outdoor Yoga: Whether you throw a mat down in your own backyard or find a quiet shaded area in a local park, the experience is the same – freeing, refreshing, and beautiful.
Trail Runs/Workouts: The benefit of this type of activity – aside from the outdoor venue – is the ability to experience a different terrain. Trail running is a different experience than road running. You have the added challenge of a changing landscape and the advantage of softer terrain. This is an excellent option for runners who dislike the repetitive scene of treadmill training. Mix it up and do some intervals, body weight lunges, jump squats, and curtsy lunges to add a strength component to the cardio.
Themed Competitions: Check out the local community calendar for various fall competitions. Breast Cancer Awareness runs, Turkey Trots, Jingle Bell 5K, etc. This type of activity offers a chance to participate in community engagement efforts, support worthy causes, and socialize all while being active in a competitive way.
As with anything in fitness, be creative, be true to what you enjoy, and focus on the experience.
It’s All About That Balance.